21 Feb 2020
By Mark Richards
Becoming a Maths teacher in secondary school offers you a wealth of opportunities – all whilst doing something you really love – the subject of Mathematics
Responsibilities of a Maths Teacher
Naturally, many of the responsibilities of the role of secondary school teacher are the same, regardless of the subject you teach. So, as a Maths teacher you can expect to teach across the full age range (11-16 or 11-18), and across the full ability range too.
It is an important responsibility of all teachers to regularly mark and assess pupils’ work, give feedback and keep up-to-date records of the progress that pupils are making.
Similarly, preparing pupils for the various examinations they sit at different ages and levels is a central responsibility of all teaching roles in any subject. However, in Mathematics, as a core subject of the National Curriculum, you are likely to see more career opportunities open up.
Maths Teachers are in High Demand
Maths teachers are in short supply and in high demand. There are various incentives that exist top entice mathematicians into the profession. If you can demonstrate your subject knowledge, passion for the subject, and ability to communicate that knowledge and passion into engaging learning for pupils in the classroom, your career is safe and secure.
The demand for subject specialists and expertise also means that becoming a private tutor is always an option, even to supplement a part-time or full-time teaching job, or as a full-time career in itself.
Pathways into Maths Teaching
The normal route into teaching Mathematics would be to complete an undergraduate degree in the subject (or an associated subject, such as Statistics). This is then followed by the completion of a postgraduate teaching qualification, such as PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education). Postgraduate courses are led by universities. The PGCE programme mixes academic studies and assessments with practical teaching experience in two schools over the course of one academic year.
Successful completion of the course results in the award of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).
Other Routes and Career Options
Those wishing to become a Maths teacher from a different country, or with different educational qualifications and experiences will usually find there are various alternative career entry routes open to them.
All entrants will have to satisfy the entry requirements of particular institutions or course programmes. However, as Mathematics is a priority subject, you will usually find that colleges are happy to accept alternative qualifications and/or diverse industry experience.
As a core subject, Mathematics is taught as a compulsory subject across the 11-16 age range. Naturally, the subject – and the likes of Statistics and other related disciplines are available as options at A level.
However, a wide range of intervention work is often required for students in and out of school, so the opportunities for tutoring and workshop jobs are wide and various. You should find it very easy to enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career.